Repeat draws

Suggestions to improve the concept of a PlayDiplomacy League

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Re: Repeat draws

Postby NJLonghorn » 02 Mar 2018, 17:59

nanooktheeskimo wrote:...you can save the "we should all want to make improvements" high horse bit...


You think that's my high horse? That's my freakin' pony. You'll know when I'm on my high horse.

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Re: Repeat draws

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 02 Mar 2018, 18:15

NJLonghorn wrote:
nanooktheeskimo wrote:...you can save the "we should all want to make improvements" high horse bit...


You think that's my high horse? That's my freakin' pony. You'll know when I'm on my high horse.

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:lol: :lol:
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Re: Repeat draws

Postby mjparrett » 02 Mar 2018, 22:34

Hello! Sorry just catching up with all the posts. I won't quote people, but let me address a few points:

1. Any changes made will be made at the end of the season and not during. Unless anyone spots a "bug" in what I am doing, I am pretty final on that.
2. Asking someone to surrender is not fair.
3. Personally I'm not in favour of this change (maybe this should have been point 1!). BUT if you were to do it, I would think it has to be mandatory. How you can allow a player to draw Russia all four times and keep it. Poor Iggy with his 4th Italy gets to change? It would need to be consistent.
4. I can however see the logic of something in place - even if it is your favourite country it kinda kills the random assign for me if you get the same power four times. The league should be testing your ability at the game in general and not as one power.
5. I agree that power assignments wouldn't be that hard, but someone else would have to do my league (don't assume league 1 Nanook I might be up for relegation!). Would there be any arguments about me doing the other leagues?! Could this still somehow be conceived as a conflict of interest? I think really you would want one person as League Director doing ALL assignments, and that person not in ANY league. And to make this entirely clear, that would not be me as I am playing :) (Which is one of the reasons I did random countries in the first place - it was hard enough getting this up and running without finding someone willing to do admin but not play).

Carry on discussing - I will watch with interest. But so far there hasn't been anything consistently agreed for me to put up for a vote.

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Re: Repeat draws

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 02 Mar 2018, 23:08

With regards to point 5: assuming I'm not in the same league as you, I'd be happy to do it for your league while you do it for the other 2, if this is something you want to implement next season.

In fact...I'd be happy to work with you to come up with the system then implement it across all the leagues if I'm not playing next year (I'm undecided, the turns are a bit quick for my tastes). Joe92 might be someone that's also good for this role, as I know he likes the idea of the league but couldn't commit to the time constraints across that long of a period of time--not sure if he'd be interested or not, but I think he'd be good at it.
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Re: Repeat draws

Postby WHSeward » 03 Mar 2018, 00:03

Once you get into assigning powers, it will probably be harder than you guys think, primarily because of scope creep.

If you truly only care about not playing the same power 4 times, then yes, that is easy. You have 3 random games and assign only the last. But is that really what you would choose to implement? Of course not! You are going to choose to have 4 games with 4 different powers. And why stop there; you will want to balance the 4 powers as best you can: no more than 2 central power assignments, play on the east and west side of the board, play edge and corner powers, all that. And for a small league like this, you also probably want to mix up who the neighbors are too so you don't always have the same 3 players in a triangle. That last one actually might be your highest priority.

The more of that stuff you start to take it all into account, it gets trickier it is to assign boards.
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Re: Repeat draws

Postby AleBelly » 03 Mar 2018, 00:04

Just to add my opinion to the discussion:

I agree with others that the rules shouldn't be changed mid-season, especially once we start the second round of games. It makes evening things out more difficult.

It shouldn't be too difficult to write a quick program to ensure that each player gets a different country for each of the four games. I would volunteer to do so if the league goes in that direction.
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Re: Repeat draws

Postby NJLonghorn » 03 Mar 2018, 04:56

AleBelly wrote:Just to add my opinion to the discussion:

I agree with others that the rules shouldn't be changed mid-season, especially once we start the second round of games. It makes evening things out more difficult.

It shouldn't be too difficult to write a quick program to ensure that each player gets a different country for each of the four games. I would volunteer to do so if the league goes in that direction.


I think it would be slightly more work than you are letting on. The game would have to be established as first-come, first-served for country selection. The league coordinator would have to send a separate PM to each player, saying what their country assignment is in addition to the password, so they can sign up accordingly. I don't think it would be worth the effort to achieve that level of equality in the distribution. But if it's someone else's effort, I'm not opposed to it.

My inclination would be to just eliminate the worst situation -- the dreaded 4-peat -- and get on with it.
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Re: Repeat draws

Postby mjparrett » 03 Mar 2018, 11:35

I think though that eliminating the 4 draw is not much of an improvement because of the already mentioned problems (someone surrendering, not making it compulsory etc).

Thanks to WHS dropping in and keeping an eye on us! I agree with his points on country assign - I liked the way the first PDES I played in gave me 1 west, 1 east and 1 central power. Yes all PMs were therefore sent out separately with allocation as well as password and games were set up first come, first served and people trusted to select their assigned power.

Yes we could probably write something to do the job. Again though this requires a bit more admin, and not me for my league. I already spend a bit of time trying to make sure everything is up to date and no mistakes are made... and have suffered with 3 people pulling out of round 1 before it even started, 2 round 1 surrenders, and 1 round 1 "I'll finish my game but no more".

If this was a bit more official and a way of a guaranteeing the reliability then it would be worth the effort. But I can't see how that is possible.
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Re: Repeat draws

Postby rd45 » 03 Mar 2018, 18:56

It's well within the meaning of "random" that you should repeatedly get the same outcome on multiple trials. Anyone with access to a coin or dice can quickly prove that for themselves. So, we all signed up for a league with random power assignment, and anyone who's surprised to learn that they might get the same power multiple times evidently hasn't thought hard enough about it. Someone who draws Italy more than once might well feel aggrieved, but it's just one more proof that whoever said "luck plays no part in Diplomacy" was talking rubbish. It's in the game. Suck it up. And this is from someone who's already on -3 from an elimination in round 1, played as Italy.

If the site offered an easy way to create a bespoke game with pre-arranged power assignments for each player, then I guess you'd be using it already. Certainly the workarounds described above seem laborious. I say it's not broken, so there's no need to work so hard to fix it.
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Re: Repeat draws

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 04 Mar 2018, 21:34

WHSeward wrote:Once you get into assigning powers, it will probably be harder than you guys think, primarily because of scope creep.

If you truly only care about not playing the same power 4 times, then yes, that is easy. You have 3 random games and assign only the last. But is that really what you would choose to implement? Of course not! You are going to choose to have 4 games with 4 different powers. And why stop there; you will want to balance the 4 powers as best you can: no more than 2 central power assignments, play on the east and west side of the board, play edge and corner powers, all that. And for a small league like this, you also probably want to mix up who the neighbors are too so you don't always have the same 3 players in a triangle. That last one actually might be your highest priority.

The more of that stuff you start to take it all into account, it gets trickier it is to assign boards.

Personally, if it were left to me, I'd only care about 4 different powers and trying to mix up neighbors at least somewhat. Mike may want it to be more like what you're laying out, but if I were doing it, I'd care solely about not playing a power more than twice and mixing up neighbors a bit.
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